Governor Corbett has now signed Senate Bill 1131, commonly referred to as the Fair Share Act, into law. The law was one of the Governor's top legislative priorities. It is designed to ensure that business owners and other defendants do not bear a disproportionate share of the liability for damages awarded in civil cases. Under the new law, defendants that are found to be less than 60 percent at fault would not have to pay more than their share of the damages, except in certain circumstances. The carve outs include torts involving intentional acts, intentional misrepresentation, liquor law violations AND "a release or threatened release of a hazardous substance under section 702 of the act of October 18, 1988 (P.L. 756, No. 108, known as the Hazardous Sites Cleanup Act." As a result, the Fair Share Act has no effect on the joint and several liability imposed upon site owners and operators, prior owners and operators, generators and transporters under HSCA, the state's version of Superfund. Why, you might ask, would the General Assembly decide that HSCA merited special treatment. This same issue came up when I was at PADEP. The reason HSCA liability is carved out is because the state believes that if the fair share concept was imposed on environmental liability at HSCA sites, the state would lose considerable leverage in negotiating settlements with PRPs. Just having the threat of joint and several liability under HSCA hanging over their head can often drive a PRP to agree to remediate a site and avoid having the state perform the work and then seek 100% reimbursement. It's one more tool that the Department has to seek the best result for the Commonwealth. I am not saying I agree with that, but I believe that is the reason why HSCA liability has continued to be carved out each time this legislation has been previously proposed and as it stands now, with the Governor having signed it into law.